Former Idaho lawmaker Aaron von Ehlinger found guilty of raping intern

A former Idaho lawmaker used to be convicted Friday of raping a 19-year-old legislative intern after a dramatic trial by which the younger lady fled the witness stand all through testimony, announcing “I will’t do that.” In line with the intern, who’s known as “Jane Doe” at her request, Aaron von Ehlinger, 39, raped her at his condominium after the 2 had dinner at a Boise eating place in March 2021. 

Von Ehlinger used to be a state consultant from Lewiston, however later resigned. He sat flippantly as the decision used to be learn, as he has all over the trial. Von Ehlinger talked quietly together with his lawyer, who got rid of pieces from his wallet as he used to be handcuffed and remanded to custody. 

Later on, 4th District Pass judgement on Michael Reardon advised the jury: “This has been an extraordinary case attended by means of many surprising cases, however I respect your consideration … and difficult paintings.”

Idaho Lawmaker Rape Trial
Aaron von Ehlinger in court docket on April 27, 2022, in Boise, Idaho.

Brian Myrick / The Idaho Press-Tribune by way of AP


Doe on Friday haltingly described the moments the alleged attack started, earlier than impulsively leaving the witness stand.

“He attempted to position his hands between my legs and I closed my knees,” Doe mentioned. At that, she stood up. “I will’t do that,” she mentioned, temporarily strolling out of the court.

The pass judgement on gave the prosecuting legal professionals 10 mins to seek out her to decide if she would go back and resume her testimony.

When she didn’t, the pass judgement on advised the jurors they needed to “strike (Doe’s testimony) out of your minds as though it by no means took place,” since the protection may no longer cross-examine her.

Right through his testimony Thursday, von Ehlinger incessantly spoke in a transparent, loud voice at once to jurors, announcing he and Doe determined to go back to his condominium to “hang around” after consuming at a posh Boise eating place. Then they started making out at the sofa, he mentioned. 

“Issues had been going neatly, and I requested (Doe) if she wish to transfer to the bed room,” von Ehlinger mentioned. “She mentioned ‘Positive.’ We were given up, held fingers and walked into the bed room.”

He insisted the intercourse used to be consensual. 

Deliberations stretched for seven hours till just about 8 p.m. Thursday earlier than the jury determined to damage for the night time. At one level, the pass judgement on summoned the legal professionals to his chambers since the jury requested a query. No main points had been made public concerning the jury’s inquiry.

When the allegations was public — in large part on account of the legislative ethics investigation — Doe confronted unrelenting harassment from a few of von Ehlinger’s supporters. Her title, photograph and private information about her lifestyles had been time and again publicized in “doxxing” incidents. 

Probably the most individuals who often pressured her used to be within the courthouse to wait the trial, however regulation enforcement banned the person from the ground the place the place case used to be being heard.

Right through last arguments, Ada County Deputy Prosecuting Lawyer Katelyn Farley advised jurors that the case used to be about “energy within the unsuitable fingers” used to the “nice devastation” of Doe. Von Ehlinger had social, political and bodily energy over the petite intern, Farley mentioned.

“He used that energy to rape and forcibly penetrate her,” Farley mentioned, pointing at von Ehlinger. Doe resisted in different techniques, she mentioned, highlighting the testimony of regulation enforcement investigators and a nurse sexual attack examiner who interviewed Doe after the alleged attack.

“Phrases display loss of consent. Excuses of ‘Why this mustn’t occur,’ display loss of consent. Yanking your head again and getting an harm presentations loss of consent,” Farley mentioned.

However von Ehlinger’s protection lawyer Jon Cox advised jurors the prosecution’s case used to be made up of “purple herrings,” and mentioned von Ehlinger used to be a reputable one who willingly took the stand to proportion his aspect of the tale.

Previous this week, jurors heard from investigators and a nurse who carried out a rape examination. They testified that Doe reported being pinned down whilst von Ehlinger pressured her to accomplish oral intercourse, and that she knew he often carried a handgun and had positioned it on a cloth wardrobe close to the mattress on the time of the attack. A nurse additionally testified that Doe had a “goose egg” at the again of her head from putting the wall or a headboard whilst seeking to jerk her head clear of von Ehlinger’s grip.

Von Ehlinger’s sentencing has been scheduled for July 28.

Within the U.S., lend a hand is to be had for survivors of sexual violence and their households. RAINN provides assets at 1-800-656-HOPE and on their web site, www.rainn.org

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